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Runner's First Turn

It used to be that my runner’s first two clicks were to run HQ and R&D, hoping to set the Corp back money, or get free accesses. These days I find my runners more and more spend their first turn setting up. Drawing some cards, throwing down some econ, etc. I’ll maybe start tentatively running turn 2 or turn 3. So what is up with that? Would establishing have been better first turn plays a cycle or two ago or has the meta subtly shifted? I mean it also depends on what Corp you’re running against. I don’t think face-checking Jinteki has ever been a great idea, but is it a worse idea now? HB used to be the safest deck to face-check. Is Architect enough to change that?

Have other players noticed a similar shift in play style?

This is something I have noticed in my own behaviour, too. I don’t know exactly what it is—Katana was always there and it’s not like you see Komainu outside Jinteki. It might be that the Corp has more a resilient economy now, and more solid low-cost ICE available. So perhaps it just isn’t as useful to force the rez early as it used to be.

Forcing a Wraparound and a Quandary just isn’t as good as a Wall of Static and an Enigma.


Hit the nail right on the head.

I think as more and more cards get put out, corps are better able to refine their ICE and economy selection; and for a lot of factions, this means either cheaper ices or easier to trigger econ or both. It’s now way more likely that they’ll be able to rez both ICE and get on with their lives, instead of being ground to a halt.

The first turn runs aren’t just to make the corp spend money, they’re also for getting information.


i made a post about it on BGG but i find running on blue sun turn 1 counter productive. their early game ice is datapike/caduceus which set you back and then on their turn they simply pick one up and install it again. do you try to face check what is likely the same ice or go look for breakers? i generally have never looked for breakers unless i absolutely have too (comes from playing gabe a lot) but i think blue sun is different story.

the corporate early game has definitely become a lot stronger and the econ of all corps is resilient as hell. awhile back i had a game vs HB etf where i siphoned him 5 times and trashed all the adonis i saw. i ended up winning the game but he has something absurd like 30 credits when i stole the last agenda. in 2012 the 2nd or 3rd siphon would have probably meant the corp was never going to have more than 3 credits for the rest of the game lol.


Also, a lot of good players won’t rez ICE for a single access on HQ/R&D early on.

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I also think it depends on your runner deck. If you’re a slow runner, sometimes it’s bad to poke early on to get in the centrals. I came often to a situation that I was running early (and delaying my deck) and created a massive scoring window for an Atlas, Nisei or even an astro. Sometimes its just better to build early and be ready for a turn 3-5 scoring remote.

I think this is really spot on as well. it’s becoming more and more common to score early on the table (as opposed to “from hand”); even with the rise in NEH popularity, you often get a brief window early on while they search for combo pieces; if you spend that time pecking away at centrals, you might not be ready to run when the agenda or san san or whatever else hit the scoring remote.

I find the opposite is also true. Rush deck (Supermodernism, TWIY* Rush, Jinteki Shutdown) faded out of the meta a couple of months ago and the necessity to keep the corp poor during the first 2-3 turns isn’t that much needed anymore.

You won’t see a lot of Turn 3 overscored atlas in a double-ICEd remote with R&D open anymore.

Agreed. Rez Hq on AS or multi access early only.
Plus, you have mulligan distortions to deal with.
Ie., the corp has a hand that he is more likely than at any other time to regard as favorable.